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The research presented in this video analyzes the relationship between law and morality, and asks what role morality plays in social interactions. Using empirical findings from social psychology, behavioral law and economics, it is deduced what people generally perceive as just or fair. The findings show that moral rules enable cooperation and how moral intuitions impact rule following behavior. As STEFAN MAGEN explains, the findings suggest the need for the law to create shared standards to make moral intuitions viable for society.


Stefan Magen is Professor of Public Law, Philosophy of Law, and Economic Analysis of Law at Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany). In 2005, Magen took on the position of Visiting Scholar at Berkley School of Law, at the University of California (USA).
Magen has won the Dissertation Prize of the Walter-Kolb-Memorial Prize, awarded by the city of Frankfurt/Main, for his doctoral dissertation in 2003. His doctoral thesis discussed body politics and religious freedom. Today, Magen continues to investigate the relationship between morality, law, and behavior. As such, Magen combines various interdisciplinary approaches, from social psychology to behavioral law, and economics.


Ruhr University Bochum (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)

Located in the midst of the dynamic, hospitable metropolitan area of the Ruhr, in the heart of Europe, the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) with its 20 faculties, RUB’s disciplinary institutional units, is home to 5,600 employees and over 41,000 students from 130 countries. All the great scientific disciplines are united on one compact campus.The RUB is on its way to becoming one of the leading European universities of the 21st Century. Almost all courses are offered as Bachelor and Master degree programmes. Our excellence programmes have made themselves an international name: RUB Research School as an international college for structured doctoral research in the life sciences, natural sciences, engineering, the humanities and social sciences; the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV (Ruhr Explores Solvation); interfaculty and interdisciplinary Research Departments, which are mutually, nationally and internationally networked, sharpen the profile of the RUB. Added to this is an unsurpassed programme for the promotion of Early Career Researchers, and an excellent infrastructure. What makes it all come alive is the people who meet on campus with their thirst for knowledge, their curiosity, and their commitment. They help shape the RUB and their open-mindedness makes the RUB an attractive place for people from around the world. (Source: RUB)
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Original publication

Gerechtigkeit als Proprium des Rechts. Eine deskriptive Theorie auf empirischer Grundlage

Magen Stefan
Published in 2009

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